Creating the Ultimate NFL Broadcaster

Kyle Koster

Every broadcaster has unique talents. They also have unique shortcomings. What if, through the magic of advanced science and a lack of more meaningful use for the technology, we were able to create an NFL booth that combines the best elements from across the spectrum? What would that look like?


Kevin Burkhardt's Hair

This is perhaps the least important but most lusted-after category on the board -- and there's some great lettuce out there. But it's Burkhardt who stands out amongst the field. Part evening newsman, part Sterling Cooper account man, the coif is youthful enough for the 18-34 crowd but mature enough to project gravitas. Can't teach something like this.

Kevin Burkhardt and his hair
Kevin Burkhardt and his hair / Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Mike Tirico's Eyes

Tirico has such a keen eye for detail and is so fast on his feet that it feels as though he's several steps ahead at all times. It's akin to a quarterback reading a defense and knowing what they'll throw at him pre-snap, then flawlessly executing the smartest avenue.

Al Michaels' Brain

Michaels has done it all and has an encyclopedic memory of what came before. Few broadcasters have ever had so much big-moment seasoning. He's always in control, but it doesn't feel as though he needs to be in control. Still at the top of his game, he embraces his links to the past and uses them to lay the groundwork for an extremely layered presentation.

Kevin Harlan's Heart

Talk about a guy who gives it his all. His enthusiasm for a streaker on the field matches his excitement for a game-changing fourth-down conversion. Harlan says it with his chest and makes you care about the big stuff -- and the small stuff.

Joe Buck's Mouth

There's a very misguided and vocal faction out there who have it out for this guy, which perhaps proves that it is not the critic who counts (self-awareness level high here). Buck is so unflappable, so ingrained into the fabric of Fox's most important moments at this point that it's tough to remember he took over for a legend in Pat Summerall and has excelled from day one. He injects a baseball broadcast sensibility into the gridiron and allows it to breathe enough to give Troy Aikman room to shine.

Joe Tessitore's Hands

Stand-ups aren't easy and can be jarring. But Tessitore is a demonstrative speaker and uses his body in a way that's different and broader than many other play-by-play anchors. It's interesting to watch and, honestly, the highlight of the Monday night offering at this point.

Jim Nantz's Suit

This guy just looks presidential and always has the right tie. No-brainer here.


Kurt Warner's Hair

Not even the best hair in his family and he still gets the nod here. Warner has the look of a man who has seen it all and lived to tell about it. And, unscientifically, he appears to use the perfect amount of product.

Tony Romo's Eyes

Much has been made about Romo's power of prediction, but it's important to remember that it's not a cheap parlor trick. Romo is able to see the future because he's processing information like a super-computer and uniquely skilled at distilling it down to bite-sized pieces. CBS' prized asset is also able to convey his expertise without coming off as a know-it-all.

Mike Pereria's Eyes

Pereria was a trailblazer in the field of officiating on television and the role has become essential throughout the years. He's to-the-point, has a thorough understanding of each rule, and is patient enough to explain it to broadcasters who aren't as familiar. We can lament that watching football has become akin to passing a bar exam, but Pereria makes the best of it.

Booger McFarland's Heart

McFarland's passion shines through each and every Monday and is carried by energy. He is best at speaking from the heart and honestly. Moreover, it doesn't seem like he knows that he cares, which is admirable and not entirely a universal confidence.

Cris Collinsworth's Mouth

The best analyst currently working is so good at X's and O's and speaking about the Jimmies and Joes. He can be serious one moment and almost slap-happy the next.

Troy Aikman's Hands

The key here is steadiness, and Aikman brings it each and every Sunday -- and Thursday. The increased workload has allowed his talents to shine and they are as sharp as ever.

Michael Irvin's Suit

Look at this guy and tell us we're wrong.